A section of Shelbourne Street will close starting June 12 for up to four weeks as part of ongoing improvements on the busy corridor.
Shelbourne will be closed to motor traffic between Donnelly Avenue and Pear Street 24 hours a day, seven days a week but pedestrians and cyclists will have full access, the District of Saanich said in a statement. Motorists will also be able to access businesses in the affected area, it said.
Saanich director of engineering Harley Machielse said the closures are required to fill an abandoned culvert under Donnelly and Shelbourne, as well as install a deep sewer across the Pear Street intersection.
The closure was requested by Don Mann Excavating, the construction company contracted for the project.
The Donnelly Avenue intersection will close first, then Pear Street.
“Without a full road closure, accommodation of any level of traffic through the site would greatly affect the efficiency and workers’ safety,” Machielse said in a statement.
He said the closures have been timed to take advantage of reduced vehicle traffic on the street due to the summer lull at the University of Victoria and Camosun College.
Transit buses on routes 27 and 28 will be rerouted around that section of Shelbourne Street during the closure.
B.C. Transit said buses will travel via Cedar Hill Road, Cedar Hill Cross Road and North Dairy Road before returning to Shelbourne Street, skipping six northbound bus stops and five southbound stops within the closure area.
Spokesperson Jaime Wiess said drivers on routes 27 and 28 will stop at bus stops along the detour route.
Frank Liu, owner of Yoya Hair Design, a hair salon that has operated on Shelbourne Street since 2015, said this is the longest road closure he’s experienced so far, noting roads were only closed for about a week after the Saanich bank robbery a year ago. That incident resulted in the deaths of the two robbers and multiple police-officer injuries.
“Our only hope is that this is fixed quickly,” Liu said in Mandarin.
Although June isn’t usually busy, he said, customers are easy to lose in the hair salon business once they find an alternative shop.
Liu said he plans to take a short vacation on June 17 to coincide with the road closures, though the business will reopen later in the month.
The work is part of the second phase of the district’s $23-million multi-year upgrade of Shelbourne Street to improve the road’s surface and underground infrastructure from North Dairy Road to Torquay Drive.
New sidewalks, improved bus shelters and two-way separated bike lanes are being built on Shelbourne Street from North Dairy Road to Pear Street. A left-turn lane on Shelbourne Street at Pear Street is also being removed.
Aging water, sewage, and storm drainage utilities are also being replaced along the road to help meet the demands of the growing community along Shelbourne corridor, the district said.
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